Members and guests of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce recently gathered at the Canandaigua Country Club for the Chamber’s Annual Gala. It was an evening in celebration of strength and perseverance, and this year’s keynote speaker was Matt Hurlbutt, interim president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. After Mr. Hurlbutt spoke of the upstate region’s successes in attracting and retaining quality employers, the program transitioned to a much more local focus. As is custom, the Chamber recognized members’ milestone anniversaries — 5, 10, 15 years …

This year’s ranking member in attendance was Kiwanis Club of Canandaigua, celebrating 65 years of continuous membership. The richness of perspectives that emerge in an organization whose members vary from fledgling startups to mature industry leaders, and from one employee to hundreds, is part of what helps keep the Chamber relevant in a market that is virtually global and intensely local. Our elder members contribute sage advice, provide significant support to major events and inspire confidence that businesses in our area can endure everything from weather emergencies to market corrections. Newcomers and smaller firms, gaining confidence from the experience of the elders, bring vitality and agility, encouraging us to consider new ideas and try new things.

Today, the Chamber is working with all of these businesses to tell the story of a Canandaigua that’s open for business every day, all year round. It’s tempting as the sun sets earlier and we share in Ring of Fire and Labor Day festivities to think it’s over for another year. But it’s not.

Our Tourism Committee is already working on a new season of stories — of changing leaves and fall harvest and day-tripping and a Canandaigua that, while perhaps less crowded, is no less attractive, affordable and engaging to visitors and locals alike. As we work with member-partners to identify new stories to share with you, we ask that you work on some new stories of your own. Share them on your Facebook page or on your front porch or with a friend over coffee. (I take mine black.)

Ethan Fogg is the executive director of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce, which produces Chamber Corner as a monthly column. For more information on the Chamber, call 585-394-4400 or email